This morning I looked out the window at the low ceiling of clouds. Dark and tender, a sky full of contusions. Light rain grew heavy as I poured my coffee and stared at the battered funeral program on my fridge front.
You would have been a year old today. Except that's not quite right. Not quite true. I knew you'd never be a year old. I knew, even before I held you, taped into my arms with all your tubes and lines and other rigging safely secured over my shoulder. I knew. Maybe you were too awesome for this world, too special, too pure. Maybe. Definitely, you were too sick.
It might be harder if I'd ever imagined you toddling after your big brother, or crowding around the iPad with my kids watching Minecraft videos. But I didn't, and you didn't, and it's still hard enough. You changed our family, kiddo. Made us stronger, sadder, closer, and more grateful.
This morning I sipped my coffee and thumbed out a text to your dad (my brother) and your Granny (my mom). Thinking of you... Because what else do you say? I walked out the door without an umbrella. My mascara was already ruined, and I wanted to feel the rain.
Happy birthday, Ben. I'm thinking of you.